Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Countdown

So, it's a week and a couple of days until Christmas. I've been looking around my house this weekend, and I am anything but ready to go. My house is a mess, the clutter abounds. Last night, while starting a fire in the fireplace, we discovered that there is some kind of blockage in the chimney, as evidenced by the large amount of smoke that filled the house. Yes, the flue was open. Yes, the smoke detectors definitely work. Yes, the dog does not like the sound of the alarm. And the Christmas shopping, I still have much to pick up. Oh yes, and cookies, I need to bake cookies. Sigh. I'm just not feeling the Christmas thing this year, for a variety of reasons. Not that I'm depressed, because I'm not. I'm just ready to move past the holidays. I must say though, in spite of it all, I'm not overwhelmed. At least we have a quiet holiday planned. Are you ready for Christmas?

Friday, December 14, 2018

365 - Day Devotional Journals

Sometime in my teen years, I began keeping a personal journal. It was often sporadic, and the journal itself was quite unremarkable, a simple 70 sheet school notebook. It was simple, but I didn't really mind. That notebook, and the others that followed, are now long gone, but I still enjoy the pleasure of expressing my thoughts with a pen and some paper, although admittedly, it has been a while. It was timely then, that the opportunity to review three beautiful devotional journals from Ellie Claire came up. I jumped at this review that would be just for me! Let me share them with you...

All three journals are a cross between a hardcover and softcover, with an elastic ribbon band that will keep the book closed when not in use. The spines are sturdy hardcovers. There are ribbon bookmarks in each journal to keep track of your place. These are not my cheap school notebooks. They are thick, well crafted, and beautiful, with a different theme for each. All three feature short devotionals, as in, one or two paragraphs long. There is also a Bible verse to read, and meditate on, as well as a prayer at the end. A half of a page of blank lines allow you to journal, write out thoughts and prayers. By the time you complete the devotion for December 31, you will have a meaningful book to remember the events of the past year.



Each of these devotional journals vary slightly in their themes. While the format is generally the same, you will find that the devotions are different, as well as the cover themes.

The Peace Begins With Me journal is a lovely watercolor cover in a blueish green color with gold lettering. This is the most simple in its design, but very elegant. The theme, as described in its title, is peace, and the devotions in this journal will help readers seek peace through praising God.



                                                Buy it on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble


The second journal is Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. This has a bright and beautiful floral cover, as well as on the corners of each page. This is a  sweet choice for the girly ones out there. The basic theme for these devotions are, naturally, how we can turn our eyes upon Jesus.  Each day will include  a line from a hymn or known song.



Buy it on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble

The third, and final journal is perfect for the bird lovers in your life. With two vibrant peacocks in all of their colorful splendor, sitting among flowered branches, and dotted throughout the pages, The Earth Is The Lord's and Everything In It journal offers some regal whimsy to the user. With the devotions using various examples from nature, this is yet another pretty choice.



Buy it on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble

Simply put, any of these would be a well received gift for your daughters, sisters, friends, basically any female friend sin your life. I am so impressed with the quality of these journals. I was expecting a thin, softcover notebook, and instead received these high quality gems. I would recommend these beauties to anyone looking for a devotional journal. These are on my gift list for sure, and I hope that you will include them in your holiday plans too.




Sunday, December 9, 2018

Skipping Christmas




This week, I'm pulling out my copy of Skipping Christmas, by John Grisham. It's a whimsical, quick read, and I usually read it every year. I'm feeling particularly grinchy this year, lol, and I'm hoping that this might get me into the Christmas spirit a little more. 
The story is about a man named Luther, and how he makes the decision to skip Christmas for a year. His wife reluctantly agrees, but they soon realize it won't be an easy task, as their entire neighborhood makes it their mission to foist the holiday upon them, in the obnoxious, yet amusing ways. It's an enjoyable read, and I do enjoy it. So, excuse me while I get started. Happy Sunday to you!




Friday, December 7, 2018

Beloved - 365 Devotions For Young Women - A Crew Review


I often find it hard to believe that my daughters are old enough to use a devotional for teens. That old adage, "The days are long, but the years are short", is cliché, but spot on. People often lament the teen years, particularly when they speak of teenaged girls. I'm surprised, and annoyed if the truth be told, how many times older folks have seen me with my daughters, and said, "Oh, I remember that stage, I feel sorry for you." What?! Do not feel sorry for me! I love my girls, and in reality, there is a freedom that comes when your kids reach the teen years, and they are capable of much more independence. Of course, there are trials, and challenges. Bigger kids, bigger problems. However, I have a front row seat to the blooming of my daughters' personalities. I have the privilege of hearing their thoughts on many issues, and the enthusiasm and joy that accompanies youth. 




As my daughters navigate these years, I often find myself engaged in conversations with them about various issues that they need guidance to handle. Every time, I point them to the Lord, and to the Scriptures, because I want them to learn to depend on Him first and foremost. To that end, I was pleased to receive a free copy of Beloved - 365 Devotions For Young Women from Zondervan to review, with no additional compensation. It's a lovely resource, and I'm happy to share it with you.




Simply put, this is a beautiful devotional. It is a hardcover book, with a pretty, glossy, floral design, in shades of a blush sort of pink, with splashes of a darker pink, gold, and green. Each devotion is set up as Day 1, Day 2, and so on, rather than actual dates. I like this method, because it allows you to begin the book any day of the year, and you won't have to possibly start at the end of the book.

The devotions are simple, and easy to follow. A Bible verse that sets the theme for the reading is at the top, followed by a short paragraph that expounds on the lesson. Four lines are available at the bottom that allow for notes, prayers, or general thoughts. Young women will read about the highs and lows of various girls and women from the Bible. They will read about Biblical ways to handle relationships, identity, loneliness, grief, beauty, and compassion. During this review period, we have read about Eve, that famous wife from Proverbs 31, Sarah, and Lot's wife. As I paged through this book, to see who we will meet in future devotions, I see that they will include Leah, Rachel, Dinah, Jochebed, Miriam, Deborah...you can see the list continues. It's going to be good!






How you decide to utilize this devotion is up to you. You might give this to your daughter and let her use it for her personal quiet time. The verses provide opportunity for memorization, and maybe even some copywork, just to keep that handwriting gorgeous :) As for my family, we have been using this as an opening for our daily Bible studies. One of my girls will read the verse, then one of us reads the devotion, and we discuss the theme. Eventually I will just have them use it on their own, as they learn to organize a quiet time on their own, but for now, it's a sweet time. I love to hear their thoughts on various issues of the day. Gathering at the table to read this is a reminder to me that I love homeschooling. It has allowed me to cultivate close relationships with my daughters, and I hope that it never changes.

The Christmas season is upon us, and this would make a meaningful, and beautiful gift for the young  woman in your life. I hope that you will take the time and take a look at Beloved - 365 Devotions For Young Women today.




Find Zondervan on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Pinterest

Instagram


Read more Crew reviews about Beloved - 365 Devotions For Young Women from Zondervan by clicking the banner below!

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women {Zondervan Review}



Monday, December 3, 2018

Beloved - 365 Devotions For Young Women - A Review

I often find it hard to believe that my daughters are old enough to use a devotional for teens. That old adage, "The days are long, but the years are short", is cliché, but spot on. People often lament the teen years, particularly when they speak of teenaged girls. I'm surprised, and annoyed if the truth be told, how many times older folks have seen me with my daughters, and said, "Oh, I remember that stage, I feel sorry for you." What?! Do not feel sorry for me! I love my girls, and in reality, there is a freedom that comes when your kids reach the teen years, and they are capable of much more independence. Of course, there are trials, and challenges. Bigger kids, bigger problems. However, I have a front row seat to the blooming of my daughters' personalities. I have the privilege of hearing their thoughts on many issues, and the enthusiasm and joy that accompanies youth.

As my daughters navigate these years, I often find myself engaged in conversations with them about various issues that they need guidance to handle. Every time, I point them to the Lord, and to the Scriptures, because I want them to learn to depend on Him first and foremost. To that end, I was pleased to receive a free copy of Beloved - 365 Devotions For Young Women to review, with no additional compensation. It's a lovely resource, and I'm happy to share it with you.



Simply put, this is a beautiful devotional. It is a hardcover book, with a pretty, glossy, floral design, in shades of a blush sort of pink, with splashes of a darker pink, gold, and green. Each devotion is set up as Day 1, Day 2, and so on, rather than actual dates. I like this method, because it allows you to begin the book any day of the year, and you won't have to possibly start at the end of the book.




The devotions are simple, and easy to follow. A Bible verse that sets the theme for the reading is at the top, followed by a short paragraph that expounds on the lesson. Four lines are available at the bottom that allow for notes, prayers, or general thoughts. Young women will read about the highs and lows of various girls and women from the Bible. They will read about Biblical ways to handle relationships, identity, loneliness, grief, beauty, and compassion.






How you decide to utilize this devotion is up to you. You might give this to your daughter and let her use it for her personal quiet time. As for my family, we have been using this as an opening for our daily Bible studies. One of my girls will read the verse, then one of us reads the devotion, and we discuss the theme. Eventually I will just have them use it on their own, as they learn to organize a quiet time on their own, but for now, it's a sweet time. I love to hear their thoughts on various issues of the day.

The Christmas season is upon us, and this would make a meaningful, and beautiful gift for the young  woman in your life. I hope that you will take the time and take a look at Beloved - 365 Devotions For Young Women today.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Apply For The Crew!

Hey friends,

Great news, the Homeschool Review Crew is now taking applications for the 2019 run! Do you homeschool? Do you have a blog? Yes? Then don't miss this opportunity to join a fantastic group of folks who love reviewing great products, and writing about them. My time on the Crew has been such a blessing. It has given our family the chance to discover curriculum an other resources that we never would have been able to utilize without the Crew. The support that this group of families offers each other on our review forum is amazing. If that sounds great to you, click on the link below, and fill out an application!

2019 Homeschool Review Crew Application

Hope to meet you soon!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

NIV Adventure Bible - Polar Exploration Edition



Hey, Adventure Bible fans! Great news, there is a new edition of the number one Bible for kids! The NIV Adventure Bible Polar Exploration Edition is here, and just in time for the Holiday season. I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review, with no additional compensation.

As a follower of Jesus, and a parent, I want to see my daughters grow in their relationship with the Lord. Of course, a vital component in making that happen is regular Bible reading and study. When I was a young believer, I was given a study Bible, and I loved the wonderful details and background information that was provided in the notes on every page. I often miss that old Bible. Upon seeing this Adventure Bible, I was hooked. This edition is amazing, rivaling that study Bible of mine, perhaps even surpassing it in its features.

A little more information about the Polar Exploration Edition:


Ready for a frosty Adventure? Embark on a fun, exciting trek through God’s Word with the NIV Adventure Bible, now in an all-new polar exploration theme! While on this arctic adventure, readers meet all types of people, see all sorts of places, and learn all kinds of facts about the Bible. And most importantly you’ll grow closer in your relationship with God.
Features of the NIV Adventure Bible, Polar Exploration Edition include:
•             The same trusted Adventure Bible content in a frosty new theme
•             Full-color images of polar animals, arctic outposts, and icy landscapes throughout make learning about the Bible even more engaging
•             Life in Bible Times—Articles and illustrations describe what life was like in ancient days
•             Words to Treasure—Highlights great verses to memorize
•             Did You Know?—Interesting facts help you understand God’s Word and the life of faith
•             People in Bible Times—Articles offer close-up looks at amazing people of the Bible
•             Live It!—Hands-on activities help you apply biblical truths to your life
•             Twenty polar-themed pages focus on topics such as how to know you are a Christian, famous people of the Bible, highlights of the life of Jesus, and how to pray.
•             Book introductions feature arctic art and important information about each book of the Bible
•             Dictionary/concordance for looking up tricky words
•             Color map section to help locate places in the Bible
•             Complete text of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible
•             Thrilling new glacial cover on metallic paper




The Adventure Bible is designed for ages 8-12 years, but as an adult, I love it! God's Word is God's Word after all, and who says that grown ups can't enjoy colorful illustrations, helpful background information, history, as well as encouraging and inspirational notes? Both of my daughters and I have been using this Bible, together, and individually for our daily readings, Sunday School lessons, and morning devotions. I love getting lost for a while in all of those wonderful extras. As a former preschool teacher, Awana leader, and current Sunday school teacher, I can certainly get away with carrying a "child's Bible", around with me, but even if I weren't any of those, I would still use this as my go to Bible.
Take a look at some photos, and see some of the helpful information you'll find in this edition:














The Christmas season has crept up on us, and wouldn't this be a fantastic, and useful gift for the tween in your life? Trust me, you will want to take a closer look at this one, and order a copy.
Interested? How could you not be? 😃
Buy it here:
https://www.adventurebible.com/polaredition/